Friday, July 3, 2015

Family Fun at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede

Disclosure: I was provided press tickets at a discounted rate in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

A year ago my parents decided that they wanted to take our entire family to Branson. So a few weeks ago, 16 people spanning 3 generations made the drive down to Branson, MO for a week of fun. When we started researching our trip I knew that the one thing Grace would really love to see was Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede.
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Review

Grace absolutely adores horses.So we reserved our tickets and told her we would get to go see a horse show. We then proceeded to watch every single video I could find online related to it because she wanted to watch them over and over. To say she was excited would be an understatement. She told everyone for weeks before that we were going to see the horsie show and see the "horsies jump through FIRE!!!!" If you're not familiar with Dixie Stampede, check out this video and you'll see why she was so excited:

My dad and I went to get our tickets early on the day of our show and I was glad we did. We had the chance to look at all of the horses and pick up our tickets in just a few minutes. When we arrived just before show time, the lobby was packed and the line was long. So my advice, go get your tickets early in the day!

The kids in our group ranged from age 2 to 11 and they were all excited for the show. We took our time looking at the horses on our way into the theater. Connor fell asleep in the car right before we arrived and stayed asleep on my shoulder when I moved him, I couldn't believe he slept through all of the noise while we stopped to look at each beautiful horse.

We were ushered in to take a family photo before making our way to the pre-show in the carriage room. We watched two absolutely amazing jugglers (seriously the best I've ever seen) while Connor continued his nap on me, making it hard for me to get any good pictures. Everyone enjoyed this show. You are able to buy snacks and drinks during the pre-show but we chose to wait for dinner as we had heard you get a lot of food!

We were ushered to our seats on the Southern side of the arena. The arena is large but it doesn't seem like there are any bad seats. We were on the second to last row and had a great view of everything.

As you can see, Grace was very excited for the show to start.

Connor woke up just as we were entering the arena. Children ages 3 and under are free if they are on your lap so he happily went from lap to lap enjoying everyone's food. Our waiter was fast, efficient, and generous as he gave us an extra biscuit for Connor and happily filled up his sippy cup with water. Our drinks were always filled and the kids loved eating with their hands.

The show was amazing! The show started with the lives of the Native Americans and all of the kids loved watching the bison run around the arena. This part of the show featured a beautiful dance with a flying bird. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire show.

Next they moved on to the settlement of west with the wagon trains. Grace loved seeing all of the horses and wagons and these numbers were amazing. There is so much to watch and they do a great job making sure to interact with all parts of the arena. Like I said, there is no bad seat!

The hands down favorite section of the show for the girls was the Southern Belles' song and dance. Grace keeps talking about the princesses with the light up dresses and saying she wants their dresses. It was a beautiful scene!

The boys loved the competition part of the show towards the end. The North and the South faced off with events filled with audience participation including chicken racing and water races. We were entertained by horse relays and a lumberjack competition that was amazing! The kids laughed hysterically during the adorable pig races. It was fun to cheer on our side (the South) despite losing by one event.

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of most of my food because Connor started devouring it as soon as it got to my plate but there was a ton of it! Each person gets a cup of soup, a biscuit, a small rotisserie chicken, a pork loin, a potato, a corn on the cob, a dessert and unlimited drinks (Pepsi, lemonade, tea, coffee, or water). Trust me, you shouldn't leave this show hungry! Luckily Connor moved to Grandma's lap before dessert came so I got to enjoy this delicious apple turnover all by myself.

Every single member our family had an amazing time at Dixie Stampede. The food was yummy (we came home with lots of leftovers!), the staff was extremely friendly and accommodating, and the show was entertaining. Connor does not do well in sit down type shows, generally Mike or I end up having to take him outside. Dixie Stampede was the only show he lasted through during our entire week in Branson. That is a huge thing for him and he was all smiles during the show. He loved looking at the horses on the way back to our car and talked about horses on the ride home. Dixie Stampede is a show that all generations will love! My kids are already begging to go back so I know it will be on our must see list during every trip down to Branson.

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